Qupital raises $15m Series A to expand into mainland China
Hong Kong-based fintech Qupital has closed a $15 million Series A and now plans to launch in mainland Chinese cities, expand its supply chain financing products and hire more tech staff, reports Jane Connolly.
TechCrunch reports that the funding round was led by CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF), with participation from returning seed round investors, Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and MindWorks Ventures.
Qupital provides lending to help SMEs overcome cash flow issues, by offering loans that cover most of the value of invoices, then matching that with investors and funders who cover the cash in exchange for a return.
Qupital’s revenue comes from charging SMEs a service fee and taking a percentage of investors’ net gains.
Financial services provider CreditEase will act as a strategic investor as Qupital expands, with plans to open branches in cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
The company also intends to hire more staff for its tech development and risk management teams – about 100 people for its Hong Kong office this year. Other plans include setting up a new technology centre in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area for talent and tech development.
CEFIF’s managing director, Dennis Cong, says: “The growing volume of SME and cross-border trading drives a huge demand for alternative financing for SMEs who are underserved in the market and opportunities for investors to earn a decent risk-adjusted return.”
Qupital has processed 8,000 trades worth a total of HKD2 billion ($254 million) and claims to not want to compete with traditional financial institutions.